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Old 01-19-2009, 05:22 PM   #1
Mainemom
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Mac user: which to buy?

I was just 2 seconds away from pressing "Buy" on a Sony 700 and then read that the screen is poor, then almost bought a 505, but just couldn't do it. I have been researching for months and still feel overwhelmed. Please be opinionated and offer me straight advice!

--I read popular (genre) fiction mainly
--I do not care if I am beholden to Amazon or some other company (I have no political views that influence this decision)
--I am a MacBook user, and do not run Parallels or Bootcamp, although my son has a PC in the house which I can use
--I am not tech savvy (workarounds are not going to be easy for me, but I will do them if necessary)
--I do not give a fig about wireless connectivity
--Cost is no object -- but I want to get something for my money
--I would like to be able to search and annotate
--I'm a professor, and it would be "nice" to be able to read articles in PDF, but this reader is primarily for fun, not a work tool
--Visibility and clarity is (enlarging font) important
--Long battery life and quicker page turns are good
--I am a bit worried that there will be a new device from Amazon or Sony that will make me wish I waited until the second quarter of 2009

I wish there were a program that I could input answers and it would spit out the reader I should buy. Failing that, I have to bother you folks.
Thank you!

Any advice?
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Old 01-19-2009, 05:42 PM   #2
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As much as I LOVE my Reader, I'm going to recommend a Kindle for you, and here's why:
-Same screen clarity as the Reader
-Cheaper prices on bestsellers
-Sony software doesn't work on the Mac, you have to interface with Calibre and even then I don't think you can buy Sony's books, you have to get them elsewhere.
-Kindle has search functions

For the battery life, make sure you keep whispernet off until you need it (it will drain the battery).
Sony isn't going to come out with anything soon. I hear possibly the Kindle might, but do you really want to play that waiting game?
I think the 700 is the only one with annotate? Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Your list was perfect, I have a feeling others will agree with me (at least comparing the Sony vs Kindle, I don't know much about the other devices).

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-19-2009, 05:50 PM   #3
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I'm predominately a MAC user and I have a Cybook which has no problems interfacing with the MAC as it is just drag and drop. It's very simple, light and still ahs the same screen as the Sony etc.
From what I understand, you only need to use a PC once to use the Sony to register your device otherwise you can use it with anything else a drag and drop, but as I don't have once that is just what I have gleaned from this forum site.
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:59 PM   #4
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I would go with a Kindle too. and I wouldnt worry too much about them droping a new device. for 30 days you can return it for free (3.99 if you UPS it with them which is still cheap as hell as it would cost you 12 bucks to UPS it yourself)

if the kindle 2 does come out, and you do want it, im sure you can unload your kindle 1 on ebay for close to what it sells for, so you wouldnt be out any money


anyway, Kindle has a 30day no hassle return policy, go order it now, keep the box, and if you dont like it, print out a return label and send it back in a few weeks.

and for a novel reader, kindles wireless is just great, when i had a kindle once a week i would just go browse the bookstore from my kindle, and download sample chapters. it really is a great function, even if you rarely use it.

Last edited by Andybaby; 01-19-2009 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilac_jive View Post
I think the 700 is the only one with annotate? Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
The Kindle can annotate via its keyboard.

A downside of the Kindle is that it can only read PDFs after they are converted to MOBI.

The PRS-700 is the 1st of the new wave of readers, so it is unlikely to be upstaged by another Sony device soon. There will be a Kindle 2 this year (perhaps very soon, but Amazon is selling plenty of Kindle 1's so perhaps not for a while), but we really know almost nothing about it. I think the Kindle 1 is "good enough", particularly because, more than with other devices on the market, it is the Kindle Store that you are buying with the Kindle.
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:50 AM   #6
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The iRex devices also support annotation.
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:55 AM   #7
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I'm a mac user also.
I adore my PRS-505, read classic and popular fiction mostly.
I have no need for wireless connectivity, touch screen, downloading today's NY Times, or whatever.
Calibre is fantastic for Mac users; clear, simple, works every time for me. I never connected my PRS to a PC; don't have to. It charges on my Mac, shows up on the desktop, and with Calibre I can load/convert any .txt, .html, .rtf, and some PDFs (depending on what's in it) perfectly.
I've used the Kindle; I find it a little bulky, poorly designed, and cheap-feeling. I have no need for the keyboard; I read with my eyes.
I don't like the Sony 700; the screen is vastly inferior to the 505 in my opinion, I think a touch-screen is totally ridiculous to read a book (I hold my reader in 1 hand, change the page with a finger/thumb on that hand, my other had is happy not having to do anything, thank you) and it gets fingerprints everywhere.
I use a $25 head-lamp from Brookstone to read at night; it is way superior to the Sony add-on light for the 505 or the 700's built-in light. So I look like a nerd; no one sees me at home in the dark. The head-lamp works better than anything else, and adds no weight, battery drain, and I can use it in any position.
MY DISCLAIMER:
I don't buy ebooks, I find what I need on the net. Some legally, some not. I do this with many things, and I have the knowledge and ability to put whatever I find into a format my reader understands- and make it look perfect - with little effort. If you are the type that finds this offensive, I'm sorry; I'm just here to help a fellow mac user (it downright hurts me to see Mac users get P.Oed because they can't use Sony's store.) There's a whole lot you can do without it, and it never stopped me from using my reader every night with any book I want to load into it.
By the way, the battery lasts a VERY long time; I read at least 12-15 hrs. a week and the battery level MAY go down 1 notch (out of 4). The page turn is fine; I press it on the beginning of the last line of text, and by the time I finish that line it changes pages. Perfect.
I don't know anyone who needs more than 3 Font sizes; I usually read on 'S', sometimes 'M' (depending on how I formatted the book in the first place), and the 'L' is, to me, for the truly visually impaired (which thankfully I am not).
I hope I helped and didn't offend.

Last edited by Alan P.; 01-20-2009 at 03:01 AM. Reason: additional information
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:04 PM   #8
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thank you for your helpful replies. I have ordered the Kindle from Amazon. It should arrive in late February -early March, and I will have 30 days to test it. I would like to do the same with the SONY, but I have been told the return policy is not forgiving, so that's that.

to Alan -- thank you for the lengthy reply. However, I am not choosing an ereader based on anything but reading legally obtained content, so whether it is easier to infringe copyright with one or another device is not my concern here.
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mainemom View Post
thank you for your helpful replies. I have ordered the Kindle from Amazon. It should arrive in late February -early March, and I will have 30 days to test it. I would like to do the same with the SONY, but I have been told the return policy is not forgiving, so that's that.

to Alan -- thank you for the lengthy reply. However, I am not choosing an ereader based on anything but reading legally obtained content, so whether it is easier to infringe copyright with one or another device is not my concern here.
Kindle is the way to go then, Im sorry that they are so back ordered right now, You should check every now and again for Amazon selling refurbished models, they have the same warranty and return policy, but are $30 cheaper. these are just kindles that were returned after 30 days ussually and have nothing wrong with them.
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mainemom View Post
thank you for your helpful replies. I have ordered the Kindle from Amazon. It should arrive in late February -early March, and I will have 30 days to test it. I would like to do the same with the SONY, but I have been told the return policy is not forgiving, so that's that.

to Alan -- thank you for the lengthy reply. However, I am not choosing an ereader based on anything but reading legally obtained content, so whether it is easier to infringe copyright with one or another device is not my concern here.
Congrats on your purchase, but sorry you have to wait so long! I can't believe they are still backordered!
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:44 PM   #11
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I hope I helped and didn't offend.
You helped this other undecided purchaser, thanks for laying out your reasoning.

I'm hesitant about the 700 also because of the reported substandard battery performance (1,500 page turns at best). The Sony Card offer of $100-off by Jan 31st is burning a hole in my pocket. The PRS-505 vs. -700 decision is burning a hole in my head.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:48 PM   #12
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You helped this other undecided purchaser, thanks for laying out your reasoning.

I'm hesitant about the 700 also because of the reported substandard battery performance (1,500 page turns at best). The Sony Card offer of $100-off by Jan 31st is burning a hole in my pocket. The PRS-505 vs. -700 decision is burning a hole in my head.
I would get the 505 then. I wubs mine

The 700 just has less battery ability in comparison to the 505, which lasts like forever. But if you're worried, then just go with the 505.

Do eeeet.

Sorry, I get out of control sometimes. Is there any reason you don't want the 505?
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:53 PM   #13
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The 505 is a nice device

It works fine with the Mac using Calibre, although you will need to connect to it a Windows PC to do the registering stuff with Sony and Adobe for Adobe DE. I don't think you can use the Sony Store on a Mac (I can't anyway cos I'm in the UK), but there are plenty of other places to buy or download books from (booksonboard.com, fictionwise.com, here...)
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:33 AM   #14
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Is there any reason you don't want the 505?
Slow speed, mostly, and worse PDF handling (and maybe a bit for lacking a search function).

I won't be reading PDFs and Calibre newspapers and magazines entirely sequentially. I'll be wanting to jump and skip. I fear the slow speed, when I'm mostly perusing pages, will drive me crazy. Calibre's magazines and newspapers, which commonly run 1300 pages, would cost me 10 minutes just for page turns, at its best advertised page-turn speed (probably more like 20 minutes in reality). And the 700 has a stroke-and-hold fast-forward page turning function, that seems to also stop very well (good control, when you let up the pressure, it's exactly at the page you want, not overshooting). The 505's 10-page jump-forward function doesn't seem useful.

Or maybe stick to PC-reading of PDFs and Calibre newspapers, and enjoy the traditional benefits of an e-Reader--clarity and battery life--on the 505? I don't know. I'd prefer to carry one device for e-reading, with good battery life, decent speed, and clarity. It's surprising Sony still doesn't make it, as those seem like basic requirements.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:25 PM   #15
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Slow speed, mostly, and worse PDF handling (and maybe a bit for lacking a search function).

I won't be reading PDFs and Calibre newspapers and magazines entirely sequentially. I'll be wanting to jump and skip. I fear the slow speed, when I'm mostly perusing pages, will drive me crazy. Calibre's magazines and newspapers, which commonly run 1300 pages, would cost me 10 minutes just for page turns, at its best advertised page-turn speed (probably more like 20 minutes in reality). And the 700 has a stroke-and-hold fast-forward page turning function, that seems to also stop very well (good control, when you let up the pressure, it's exactly at the page you want, not overshooting). The 505's 10-page jump-forward function doesn't seem useful.

Or maybe stick to PC-reading of PDFs and Calibre newspapers, and enjoy the traditional benefits of an e-Reader--clarity and battery life--on the 505? I don't know. I'd prefer to carry one device for e-reading, with good battery life, decent speed, and clarity. It's surprising Sony still doesn't make it, as those seem like basic requirements.
Honestly, the 505 is not that slow. I read pretty fast, and quickly I learned when to hit the button so I don't waste time. I wouldn't let that hold you back.
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